Saving Money Post Pandemic
As restrictions begin to gradually ease (again) and we regain some of our lost freedoms, it’s natural that we’ll all be out and about and spending more money again. Some people might be feeling protective over the savings they’ve managed to build up and have anxieties about the prospect of their spending habits changing. Others may have experienced a difficult year financially and don’t want to start spending more than they can afford, but still want to be able to enjoy life once again. Here are some tips to allow us all to enjoy the lifting of the rules, whilst maintaining a positive relationship with our money and hopefully even saving a little!
Firstly, it’s perfectly OK to allow yourself a period of higher spending. We have all missed out on so much over this past year, so if there are things you want to do that you’ve missed doing once lockdown is lifted, then do them! Give yourself permission to do some guilt-free spending. (I think we’ve all earned that!!) But do be conscious of where you’re spending your money. Take a look at any savings you already have and set a limit that you’d be happy for your balance to dip down to, so you can enjoy spending without jeopardising too much of the money progress you’ve made.
Remind yourself of your pre-lockdown budget. Go back through your incomings and outgoings – whether that’s gym memberships or haircuts, travel expenses or weekly pub budgets. Try and figure out how much you can afford to spend, whilst still saving a little for emergencies.
Continue to find ways to save money. Can you bring some lunch out with you instead of buying? Can you walk instead of paying for transport? Can you buy your post lockdown outfits from charity shops? Is your lockdown at-home-gym a good alternative to a pricey gym membership?
Keep track of your spending. Check your bank account regularly and keep your eye on what you’re spending. Using categories to separate your spending can help you see where you are splashing the most cash and where you could put in a little extra effort to save. Are you paying for things you don’t really need, like subscriptions or Amazon Prime perhaps? Set up Direct Debits to pay regular bills soon after you get paid, so you have taken care of the important stuff.
Automate your savings – it’s much easier to stick to consistent saving if the money automatically goes into your savings account as soon as you get paid, rather than waiting to see if you have anything left at the end of the month. Then it’s out of the way, and the money left in your current account is yours to spend as you please!
Remember that the most important thing is being able to see people again! There are still plenty of things you can do for free that don’t make it feel like you’re back in lockdown again. Travel outside of your area and go for a walk somewhere new (when allowed), meet in a group and take some drinks or a picnic to the park, or cook a meal once you can have guests inside. Get creative and start enjoying life again!